Midweek Crush: Yerba Mate Tea

Midweek Crush: Yerba Mate Tea

Nothing quite compares to a cup of tea the way it’s made in your own home. For me, that was a typical Parsi chai (strong, milky, minty and sweet). Though, the tea I am crushing on this week could not be more different from the tea I grew up with.

Image by Sascha Grabow www.saschagrabow.com - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

One usually thinks coffee when they hear South America. But they are tea drinkers too! They drink a type of tea called Yerba Mate (pronounced matt-ay) and have a very distinct ceremony around it which I found fascinating. The tea is a coarsely chopped leaf, (different from the rolled tea leaves we are used to). They add stevia leaves to this for sweetness and drink it in a hollowed-out gourd or pumpkin (called calabash). The tea is drunk through a metal straw (called bombilla in Spanish) with a mesh at the bottom to keep out the leaves. The tea is shared between a group of friends and can be re-steeped 7 to 8 times.

I might not be allowed into any South American country after writing this ‘cause I use a simple infuser to make my mate! Last time I checked, we don’t get dried hollowed out gourds and bombillas here in India.

I add 1 teaspoon of the tea in an infuser (you could also use a French press). Then I fill about 20% of the mug with room temperature water and top it with boiling water. This is to make sure it doesn't get too bitter. I let it steep for 3 to 4 mins and then, drink!

The grassy, green tea flavour may take some getting used to but this is definitely a taste worth acquiring. Yerba Mate is packed with nutritional goodness and health benefits:

  • The alertness of coffee without the jitters.
  • The caffeine helps in boosting one’s mental state and mood.
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • Has 11 different Polyphenols that help with anti-oxidation. So it’s a better antioxidant than most other teas.

Each tea tradition tells a beautiful story and learning about them is a journey into another world.

Yerba Mate tea is available online from Amazon.

Ashdin Doctor

Ashdin Doctor

Ashdin is a 'habit coach'. He believes that having an awesome life is easy. All we have to do is identify and create the right habits, routines and rituals. His technique is based on his personal journey fighting ill health and excess weight. It all began four years ago when he was living the dream. A new business and stressful and sleep-deprived days led to stress eating and he grew to an unhealthy 90 kgs which resulted in severe issues around his health. He decided enough was enough and took matters in his own hands. He started experimenting on himself deciding what worked, what was practical, or impractical for daily life. Was the effect tangible or not? He informally studied various perspectives on health, nutrition, fitness, exercise, anatomy, nervous system, habits, motivation, lifestyles and sleep. Today, he is fitter than ever before and has made it a mission in life to share this knowledge and wisdom and help transform other lives too! He partners with thought leaders, doctors and expert in various fields related to lifestyles and health in his two ventures FitterBee and Awesome180.

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